100 days left: Sarawak para athletes eye 83 gold medals in quest to reclaim championship on homeground

Sarawakian para athletes are ready to fight for gold medals in the Para Sukma Games 2024.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, June 14: With 100 days to go until the Para Sukma Games 2024 in Sarawak, local para athletes are gearing up with the goal of securing 83 gold medals and reclaiming the championship title from Sabah on their home turf.

Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah urged athletes to focus on improving their performance in track and field and swimming, which offer the most medal opportunities.


“We must make sure we get as many medals as possible, especially in track and field which is Sabah’s strength, and swimming, while other sports can complement our efforts.

“Give your best, push your limits, test your boundaries and defy expectations,” she said after officiating the Countdown 100 days to Para Sukma Games 2024 Sarawak ceremony, which was graced by Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian at a hotel here today.

(From right) Dr Sim, Fatimah, John Sikie, Hii and others after inserting the large gold medal to mark the countdown during a ceremony on June 14, 2024.

For the record, in Para Sukma 2022, Sabah emerged as the champion with 54 gold medals, narrowly defeating Sarawak, which secured 50. Sarawak was the Para Sukma champion for 13 consecutive times from 1994 to 2018.

In the next Para Sukma Games, a total of 1,528 para athletes and 49 support athletes from throughout Malaysia will compete in 334 events across 10 sports namely track and field, swimming, badminton, ping pong, bowling, boccia, lawn bowling, powerlifting, archery and chess, all to be held in Kuching.

Lamar (fifth left) raises the Sarawak flag as the clock starts ticking during the 100 day countdown to the Para Sukma Games 2024 Sarawak ceremony.

Dr Sim emphasised that para athletes are inspiration to all, teaching valuable lessons about resilience, perseverance, and the limitless potential of the human spirit.

“What makes para sports truly exceptional is the emphasis on ability rather than disability. Each athlete’s journey is a testament to the power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity.

“Through sheer determination and unwavering dedication, they transform challenges into opportunities, and obstacles into stepping stones,” he said.

Fatimah also assured that medalists in Para Sukma 2024 would receive incentives, with the Sarawak government having allocated funds for this purpose.

“However, we will not disclose the quantum of the incentive for now. Incentives will also be given to athletes who set new records,” she added.

Dr Sim (third right) flanked by Fatimah on his right together with para athletes and young performers at the event.

The countdown was marked by the delivery of a symbolic large gold medal by six-time international record holder Sarawak powerlifter Bonnie Bunyau Gustin, the handing over of the Sarawak flag to deputy Chef de Mission Lamat Nyalau, and a powerful war cry.

Deputy Sarawak Secretary (Operation), who is also Sukma and Para Sukma 2024 chief executive officer Datu Hii Chang Kee, Minister in the Premier’s Department Dato Sri John Sikie Tayai, Deputy Minister of Native Law and Customs Datuk Jefferson Jamit Unyat and Kota Sentosa assemblyman Wilfred Yap were among those present. — DayakDaily